Matt Miller discussing Mel Kiper's impact on the NFL Draft. Photo Credit: ESPN

Mel Kiper Jr. has long been the face of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage, covering the event for the 40th consecutive year this weekend. And according to his ESPN co-worker Matt Miller, Kiper should receive a massive honor for all that he has done to help grow the event over the years.

This year’s NFL Draft brought in record numbers in terms of in-person attendance for the event, with 700,000 people attending the draft over the course of the three days that it took place.

But it wasn’t always this highly anticipated event with as much media coverage as it now has. In fact, Mel Kiper was once laughed at for even trying to pursue draft analysis as a profession and told to “get a real job”.

Kiper helped put the event on the map over the years and bring in more and more viewers to the point that it is now heavily marketed by ESPN and discussed months before it is set to take place.

Matt Miller discussed this during ESPN’s Day 3 broadcast of the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday, saying that Kiper deserves to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for all he has done to help grow the sport through the draft.

“I didn’t run this by Mel,” said Miller. “But I’m just going to say this because I think we all agree. This man should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. Because this event does not happen without Mel Kiper Jr. It doesn’t. I’m not sitting here without Mel Kiper, someone who I watched since I was seven years old and grew up wanting to be like. And now I get to share this stage with him. So this man needs to be in the NFL Hall of Fame. And he won’t ever advocate for that, but I will absolutely do it.”

Kiper responded by saying that while he appreciates the praise from Miller, he believes the Hall of Fame is reserved for the “special entities that played”.

“For me, that’s reserved for the special entities that played and that did what they do,” said Kiper. “But the bottom line is Matt, I appreciate it because you do an amazing job. Field (Yates), Todd (McShay), all of you guys, everybody that has come along. Millions of people are following this draft. It’s unbelievable.”

Kiper notably advocated heavily for Miller to be included in last year’s draft coverage, which carried over to this year’s draft. So there is no doubt that Miller is seemingly thankful for all the influence he has had on his media career.

It’s hard to argue that when it is all said and done, Kiper should indeed be inducted into the Hall of Fame. No, he wasn’t a player. But there are actually a number of influential members of the Hall of Fame who never stepped foot on the field.

Kiper is undeniably the biggest influential figure in an industry that is growing year in and year out, not only at ESPN but also on many different networks. And for that, he should certainly receive his flowers.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.